Nettl doubles scholarship places

Jo Francis
Thursday, October 15, 2020

Grafenia is doubling the number of places available on its Nettl Academy Scholarship scheme after signing up the first batch of scholars.

Mistry, Wilkinson, Jones and Ashworth
Mistry, Wilkinson, Jones and Ashworth

The scheme was launched last month.

It is targeted at people who have been made redundant, or find themselves without a permanent role, due to the Covid-19 situation. The aim is to help gifted entrepreneurs, creatives and sales people start their own business and acquire new, transferable skills.

A further three individuals have now joined the first scholar, University of Manchester graduate Olivia Jones, on the scheme. Jones took up her place last month and said it had "given me the hope I needed" after applying for hundreds of jobs.

All of the new joiners had also found their employment situation adversely affected by the pandemic.

Arvind Mistry from Ashton-under-Lyne has spent 34 years in the design industry. He said that Covid-19 had had “a huge impact” on his work.

“It has forced me to re-evaluate my future and I knew I needed to upskill in order to continue to compete in the current competitive landscape. The Nettl Academy’s Scholarship has provided me with the much-needed opportunity to widen my skill set,” he said.

Salford-based Jamie Ashworth has a degree in advertising and brand management, but had been working in hospitality prior to lockdown. 

“Being furloughed back in March from my bartender role gave me the time to pick my interest in graphic and web design back up, and since then I've put enough time and energy back into them that I've now been able to build a small client base with paid work in both design and marketing,” he said.

“The opportunity given to me through the Nettl Scholarship is incredible, and will offer me the expertise and guidance from professionals in the industry that I feel I’ve been missing in order to build on my skill set and confidently take things to the next level.”

The crisis in London’s theatreland impacted Tracey Wilkinson, who had spent 13.5 years working in the design studio at a West End theatre marketing agency. Her job came to an abrupt end “thanks to Covid-forced redundancy”.

She said: “With every advertised job saturated with applications, I wanted to use my 20 years of creative employment to set up on my own, acutely aware of gaps in my knowledge of sales and websites.

“I’m delighted to have been offered the chance to upskill with the Nettl Academy Scholarship and get my career refocused, to go it alone with the right support and mentors. This is an incredible opportunity – I can’t wait to get started and get learning!"

Grafenia CEO Peter Gunning said he was “thrilled” at the response to the scheme.

“A month ago, this was just an idea. The reality is even better than our expectation. We’ve been really impressed with the quality, attitude and ambition of the first batch. We can’t wait to watch them develop and grow.

“Today we’re doubling the number of available places to 200. We encourage designers, sales people and marketeers to fill in the short form. It could be the first step in building a new future, with our help and support.”

While they are part of the programme, scholars have the same access to the Nettl system as a Nettl partner, including use of standard modules and access to all the client management tools used in Nettl stores.

Scholarships are only granted in areas where Nettl doesn’t already have a partner.

“When scholars graduate, we’d like them to become a Nettl partner, although there is no obligation. If they choose to do that, they’d be granted an exclusive territory and be the only Nettl in their area,” Gunning explained.

All the required licence fees are covered by a grant from Grafenia during the student's first six months.

Further details about how to apply, here



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